Get Up, Stand Up Now x Somerset House Studio

French Fries magazine

Get up, Stand up Now

12 June 2019 - 15 September 2019

A series of events to coincide with Somerset House’s major new exhibition celebrating 50

years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond

Somerset House celebrates the impact of 50 years of Black creativity and beyond with a major new exhibition spanning art, music, photography, film, literature, design and fashion, including Studios artists Gaika, Jenn Nkiru and Larry Achiampong.

Featuring approximately 100 interdisciplinary artists whose work articulates and addresses the

Black experience and sensibility, the exhibition connects the personal and the political, with

Somerset House Studios’ programme bringing together further artists and creatives whose

work comments on what it means to be Black today.

Going beyond the representation of Blackness as a “celebration of culture” or as a

homogeneous cultural identity, the Studios programme of live music, drag, performance and DJs

creates an open and refreshing space to discuss the sometimes difficult or uncomfortable issues

around Black diasporic experiences in relation to social and political conditions of their making.

14 June, Lancaster Rooms, New Wing

Studios Curator in residence, Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura , also known under her DJ alias as TTB,

presents Dreaming / Diasporas, a night of live performance in sound and speech on 14 June.

Featuring Zakia Sewell and Amey St.Cyr; a mother daughter performance focusing on

homeland and survival, Estelle Birch will premiere her immersive soundscape on identities and

Peckham Chamber Orchestra’s founder Hannah Catherine Jones will debut a new live

audio-visual piece. The night closes with Kelman Duran’ s first live performance in the UK,

playing with the ghostly and the corporeal in reggaeton.

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17, 19, 26 July, Lancaster Rooms, New Wing

Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) are a London based QTIPOC led sound system

whose events prioritise the comfort and safety of Black and non-white women, femmes, queers

and trans folk. Hosting three events in July, on the 17th B.O.S.S. will hold a workshop

demystifying the technical operation and maintenance of a sound system, on the 19th the group

will present an immersive sonic experience in the Lancaster Rooms, and on the 26th they’ll take

over the Deadhouse for a club night with B.O.S.S. family and friends taking to the decks.

B.O.S.S. was established with the intention of bringing together a community of queer, trans and

non-binary people of colour involved in art, sound and radical activism. Following in the legacies

of sound system culture they wanted to “learn, build and sustain a resource for our collective


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2 August 2019, Lancaster Rooms, New Wing

Deep end is an evening of poetry, performances and live music exploring Black diasporic

identity on the 2nd August. The event showcases the multimedia project POOL, conceived by

Somerset House Studios resident Nadeem Din-Gabisi, whose work is currently examining the

mental health issues of many young Black men, born in inner and outer London. Questioning

why some sink, why some swim and why others don’t enter the POOL. Nadeem will be

performing with Coby Sey, Momoko Watanabe Gill and artist Kobby Adi. NON WORLDWIDE

affiliate Farai, is performing her album ‘Rebirth’, a stunning debut that swirls with influences of

bare-bones post-punk ethos, experience of being part of the African diaspora and South East

London landmarks. Supporting, Belinda Zhawi, Zimbabwean-born London-based writer &

educator will be performing her poetry.

10 August 2019, Lancaster Rooms, New Wing

Closing the series of events is No Tea, No Shade, a club night with performances from Lasana

Shabazz and Shakona Fire who will be tackling urgent issues head on with the disarming yet

damning use of drag culture. No Tea, No Shade, invites queer bodies to unapologetically take

up space and rage against the racism, homophobia, transphobia and microaggressions that

come from being Black and/or queer in a white, patriarchal, heteronormative society.

The Studios programme hopes to bring a broad audience face to face, listening and in dialogue

with Black artists, and in doing so, chip away at the collective social amnesia fuelled by

mainstream media.

These events are open for all to attend.

French Fries magazine

Alina Ferraro